In 1865 … the House of Representatives takes a giant step towards making the United States a nation where “all men are created equal” by ratifying what would become the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. It passed 119 to 56 and by December of the next year the state’s ratified it and slavery was officially abolished.
In 1940 … Ida May Fuller, of Brattleboro, Vermont is issued the first ever social security benefits check. It was for $22.50.
Happy birthday, Norman Mailer, born today in 1923 … author, activist, mayoral candidate and one of the godfathers of the New Journalism. Anyone into creative ways to tell a story should read “Armies of the Night” And he’s pretty entertaining when he got a little tipsy before doing the Dick Cavett Show too!
Guy Fawkes “the only man to ever enter Parliament with honest intentions” was hanged and quartered (read: cut into pieces) on this day in 1606 … but he continues to influence British politics…
In 1963 … Defense Secretary Robert McNamara says, “The war in Vietnam is going well and will succeed.” …On this day five years later, Day 2 of the “cease-fire” for the Tet Lunar New Year…
In 1912 … William Randolph Hearst’s New York Evening Journal first published a full page of comics.
Legendary lefty journalist Molly Ivins passed away today in 2007 … Here’s what the Texas Observer wrote about her at the time: “She remained convinced that Texas needed a progressive, independent voice to call the powerful to account and to stand up for the common folk.”